There is no judgment or condemnation here intended for anyone…
Sickpuppy is my son. This is his story from my point of view. Sick was raised, as I was, in a home with moral and religious values. He is the youngest of 3 children. He is presently 30 years old and that makes me a really old geezer. Sick pretty well had a normal childhood except that we moved around a lot. He suffered a serious head injury as a child due to a bicycle accident. There were no apparent permanent damages. In his teenage years, things began to change. He suffered from wide mood swings. Sure enough, a diagnosis of manic depressive followed. He refused to take the required drugs for this disorder. Instead, he decided to try pot. He was caught smoking pot at school and was suspended. We followed up with the normal drug rehab and psychological counseling. It all seemed to be going okay, although he refused to believe that he needed to take medications for the depressive disorder. He was a confused and difficult teenager but we managed to struggle through thinking he would outgrow it. He graduated from High School and got married the next day. The first years of marriage were rocky at best. Soon after, two kids followed with SickPuppy being a stay at home Dad and his wife working. SickPuppy did a lot of auto electronics work at his home, custom audio, speakers, remote start systems. He was always very good at whatever he wanted to do. He was an excellent printer. Things continued for years with a rocky marriage and unusual lifestyle for young adults. Several instances of apparent drug use with occasional dry periods were exposed by his wife. Things seemed to be okay on the surface but were strange to his mother and me. He had a strange habit of staying up nights and sleeping days. This would go on for days at a time. Frequent fights with his wife and his failure to show up at family gatherings were suspicious. When his wife was asked about his absence being caused by drugs, she would always insist that all was okay. We always knew in our hearts that something was wrong. Unfortunately, he was over 21 with kids and out of our sphere of control or influence.
His first exposure to Unreal was a demo version included with a SoundBlaster Live audio card. I think I was the first one to try it. Remember trying to figure out ARIZA on Bot Match? SickPuppy was the first one to get online and play. He tried and tried to get me online but I was anti-computer in those days. Eventually he talked his Mom into getting on line and I watched. Needless to say, I was hooked. I started building computers and really got into it. I am by trade a TV engineer and I needed computer knowledge for work. I purchased Unreal Tournament and played this for several months to prepare to get online and frag SickPuppy. Sick got a DSL, purchased one of the computers I had put together, and Newbies Playground was born. The -(DOG)- clan soon followed and the Old Geezer finally got guts enough to get online. I played as OldSparky-OP and played only half hearted as my age would prevent me from ever being a serious player. (not to mention using a dial up connection). I watched -(DOG)- clan matches with various clan’s as an observer. Believing that Newbies should be a place where kids and people can play without nasty names, bad language, etc. I would call sick on the phone and tell him he needed to do something about so and so, you should see what he is saying. Yep, OldSparky, Unreal police. I would call him and say stalker has to be cheating, he keeps shooting off my head and he don’t die. Sick pup would come on line, two shots later, stalker was dead.Sick would say well, he dies when I shoot him so he ain’t cheating then mumble something about you gotta hit him Dad. I’m sure I was a pain. I watched people play while in spectator mode and was amazed at how well sick played. I was afraid to be a -(DOG)-, worried that I would embarrass Sick, so I picked up the name OldSparky(OP) old person – thus I remained OldSparky(OP) for two years. Sick puppy and I began to have something good to relate to each other with and our relationship got better. The staying up and sleeping habits seemed less of an issue as I now understood his passion for the game. I would come home from work, hurry up and eat so I could get online to play. I would quit, say goodnight to sick and go to bed. Us old people need our rest. I’d get up and get on early. Sick puppy would be on already. Seemed like he was always playing or sleeping. Now that I look back, I realize that he had never quit. He played straight for 3 or 4 days then crash and sleep for 2 or 3 days. I’d ask myself, how is that possible? Then a horrible day in July 2001, Sick and his wife has just finished an outside job of painting a house. He could do anything he really wanted to do. She dropped him at their house and she and the kids came to our house for supper. She headed back home just after 7pm. Shortly after the phone rang. It was sick’s wife, something was wrong with SickPuppy. she said he was laying over on the coffee table and looked dead. She had called the ambulance. By the time we arrived a short while later, the paramedics were rolling him out of the house doing CPR,he is as grey as a winter sky. The ambulance sits in the middle of the street what seemed like forever trying to stabilize him. All the while his kids are crying out that they don’t want daddy to die. The EMT’s ask us about drugs and we say ‘We don’t know but we don’t think so.’ We rush to the hospital with just inches between us and the back of the ambulance. In the emergency room, my first look is tubes and IV’s and all sorts of stuff. I remember standing alone, over him, just me, and saying aloud ‘Son, Son, what have you done?’ Sick hears my voice (though comatose) and tries to open his eyes and sit up. This was both encouraging and heartbreaking to me. After that he is put on a resuscitator and in a drug induced coma while the doctors try to find out whats wrong with him. I think by now I knew. The blood tests came back and it was apparent what had happened. A lethal dose of Meth and Barbiturates. He is alive but that is all they tell us. He is then moved into Intensive Care where he is put on a ventilator for 2 weeks. After the first few days, the doctors say they are going to bring him out of coma. They are having a difficult time keeping him under because his body is so used to drugs. They start tapering him to get him awake. I had noticed that his face, eyebrows feet and hands were jerking like a sleeping dog. As he approaches being awake he goes into a full body seizure. This is a horrifying thing to watch. They have to put him back into a coma for a few more days. The neurologist is explaining how Meth can cause small arteries in the back of the head to collapse and starve the brain from getting oxygen. They run an EEG more than once a day and each time the report is that his brain is continuous seizure. They start a powerful anti-seizure drugs and successfully get the brain to quit constantly seizing. Now the question is what happens when they bring him out of the coma? The Neurologist says that may be all the brain is capable of doing. If so we must decide to keep him as a vegetable or turn off the life support. This will take awhile because they are going to bring him up slowly. The Old Geezer goes outside for a cigarette. We all pray and we tell God that we will take him however he is. My phone goes off, he has coughed out the ventilator tube by his self and is trying to wake up. We arrive at bedside and the nurse tells us to keep him awake and tell him to breathe. She says he’s still under enough anesthetic to perform surgery and won’t breathe if he falls asleep. He is jerking but not full body seizures (Thank you God). He opens his eyes as I bend over to talk to him and tell him we are here Son. His first words to me were ‘Dad, I can’t see!’. He continues to be in the hospital for weeks while they run test after test to find how much damage has been done to what. They look at the health issues caused from side effects of drug use. From the hospital he went to a rehabilitation facility. He has lost his gag reflex and all other normal functions like going to the bathroom, taking a shower, eating, walking, all those things we all take for granted. I could go on for pages….
This is what Sickpup has told me after the fact. At the time of the incident, he was on his third day. He smoked some Meth and took some Phenol-barbital (enough for 2 people). He said he needed to keep going to finish a job he was doing. He was able to keep going and going, infallible. He decided to eat a biscuit, got choked and was too far gone to cough it up. He laid there for about 2 hours before his wife went home and his brain was deprived of adequate oxygen.
SickPuppy Because Of Drug Use Has:
- Cortical (brain blindness).
- Myoclonus Seizures.
- Full body seizures.
- Cannot feed himself.
- Cannot dress himself.
- Cannot use the toilet by himself.
- His wife divorced him because she didn’t want to care for a disabled person.
- His 2 children are with his ex-wife.
- He lost his house and his belongings.
- He now lives with his Mom and Dad.
- Is on Social Security Disability.
- Can no longer play the game he loves or use the computer.
- Only God knows what the future holds for him.
Sick has trouble but can walk now with difficulty. He has split open his head and broken his leg by falling. His mind is as brilliant as ever, caught in a body that doesn’t work too well. He talks of Unreal and his online friends. I now sport OldSparky-(DOG)- for him. People ask me why is raw key bindings OldSparky-(DOG)- 🙂 . Why are you so happy Old Sparky? The truth is because SickPuppy is alive, Woof, Woof. God does answer prayers.
P.S. What The Old Guy Thinks:
- Unreal is an addictive game (I’m Hooked).
- It attracts addictive people (I smoke).
- It is the only game I play.
It doesn’t have to be nasty of filled with four letter words. Great people play this game. There are lots of 8-30 year olds playing. These youngsters are impressionable.
Frag one for SickPuppy-(DOG)-
written by OldSparky-(DOG)-